Category Archives: networks

What the World really needs…

is another blog. So, here I go. 

I’m inspired by this post in which David Weinberger harkens way back to 1999 and offers reflections on what blogging once was. You can read the post for yourself, but I do want to highlight a few points he makes about why blogging mattered more back in those glory days: 

  1. Personal and Dynamic Presence on the Web. Weinberger recalls having a blog was a way to make ones Web-based existence tangible. “When blogs came along, they became the way we could have a Web presence that enabled us to react, respond, and provoke. A home page was a painting, a statue. My blog was me. My blog was the Web equivalent of my body.” Today, in my opinion, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Google+, and  other social media platforms have taken this desire to embody the Web and injected it with capitali$t growth hormones. These for-profits have effectively exploited that desire to carve out a personalized “Web presence that enabled us to react, respond, and provoke,” not by blogging but by providing consumers with seemingly convenient tools to personalize and post to customized networks of friends and acquaintances.  
  2. Sense of Community. Weinberger argues that, back in the day, the “Web was more a social space than a publishing, informational or commercial space.” Since then an array of commercialized social media sites have exploded on the Web. Some may have withered (MySpace) or died (Friendster), but many more live one. No wonder blogging suffered. As Weinberger notes,  “Blogrolls were an early social network,” but they took time and creative effort to cultivate. 
  3. Disruptive Intent. Lastly, Weinberger writes that in blogging days of yore, he and his blogging comrades saw themselves as upsetting “many assumptions about who gets to speak, how we speak, and who is an authority.” They saw themselves as “participating in a revolution,” one that shifted the balance of power away from corporate and governmental control and towards  freedom of expression, open access, net neutrality, and anonymity. Where do we find ourselves today?Friendster